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Acknowledge. Ask. Appreciate.

Updated: Jul 24, 2019


Like most good neighbors, I love having their dog visit us. I go so far as to leave the inter-leading garden gate open, which invites Amber (the cutest dog ever) to venture to our side of the fence. Amber is no stranger to our lounge, and she is often accompanied by her dirty and well-chewed ball.

Why speak of Amber? She uses 3 critical steps (consistently) to get what she wants. I admire this. So let me explain, as I believe Amber’s ways have many learnings for our everyday lives and particular for the success of our careers.


Firstly, she will acknowledge me.


Amber will never just chuck her ball at me and bark for attention. No, she ventures in and rubs against my leg, with her tail wagging to say hello. This of course softens my heart, and regardless of what I am doing, I will stop and counter acknowledge her presence with a warm baby-like voice greet her “hello baby, how are you?”

Correlation to everyday life? Don’t just expect, you are not Beyonce. First acknowledge other, their current state of mind and build a trusting rapport.


Secondly, she asks insistently.

After saying hello, Amber simply places the ball at your feet, nudges your leg gently with her nose and she will give a slight grunt - just to ensure you take notice of her efforts. This endearing look on her long face (excuse the pun), will have a success rate of 99.999999%, with the person to take the wet ball and throw it for her.

So what? Amber leaves no space for ambiguity. She is clear in what she wants, and she is insistent, yet gentle with her ways. Do the same.  


Lastly, she appreciates.

Once you have tossed the ball, Amber is super happy (appreciative). Regardless, if I tossed the ball a measly 2 meters or 20 meters to the other side of the garden - she runs, gets it, and rushes back with a sparkle in her eye. Her obedience and consistent delivery, enables my willingness to keep playing…

Take-away? If you asked for something; be it a promotion, a customers’ business, a partnership, a relationship, an investment – perform with flair, i.e. bring the ball! If you deliver as promised, and appreciate the opportunity, your efforts will be met with a willingness to keep playing.

3-point strategy for success:

  1. Acknowledge others with respect.

  2. Ask with determined clarity.

  3. Appreciate the opportunity. 

There have been many instances in our start-up marathon that make this strategy relevant. I have engaged with many companies, asking to back us, to partner with us or to risk investing in our bold strategy… Many were not interested to play, but fortunately some were, and now I am chasing the ball to ensure I can bring it home with flair and gratitude.

Now, let’s play fetch.


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